By Xavier joreen
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Uganda has risen to 160 after 21 truck drivers tested positive. This is the highest number of infections that the country has recorded in one day.
The new cases are part of the 1,896 samples from truck drivers that were tested on Thursday. They include Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians and South Sudanese truck drivers who arrived via Mutukula, Busia and Elegu borders. Further details about the positive cases are yet to be released by the health ministry.
The total number of truck drivers who have so far tested positive for Covid-19 in Uganda is 100.
Meanwhile, as the virus spreads further, UNAIDS, the UN agency fighting against the deadly HIV/AIDS virus, has initiated a petition to global leaders requesting that when a successful Covid-19 vaccine is developed, it should be made available free of charge to all.
On Thursday, more than 140 world leaders and figures signed an open letter requesting governments to unite behind a people’s vaccine against COVID-19, marking the most ambitious position yet set out by world leaders on what has become the most urgent quest in modern science.
They are demanding that all vaccines, treatments and tests be patent-free, mass-produced and distributed fairly. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is pushing for scientific research to be shared between countries and that the vaccine be patent-free.
“Nobody should be pushed to the back of the vaccine queue because of where they live or what they earn,” he said, in the joint UNAIDS/Oxfam letter.
Government and national leaders also joined UN agencies and international financial institutions on Thursday, in calling for water, sanitation and hygiene to be prioritized in the battle against the virus.
Confirming that these three areas – together with physical distancing – are first lines of defence, and central to stemming the virus from spreading, they pointed out that handwashing requires access to running water in sufficient quantities.